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The Truth About Net Neutrality Job Loss 187

snydeq writes "Robert X. Cringely investigates recent claims that passing net neutrality regulations will result in nearly 1.5 million lost jobs by 2020, finding the report at the center of these claims suspect. The report, put forward by The Brattle Group, conjectures that net neutrality adoption would curtail broadband growth by 16 percent, costing 342,065 jobs in that sector alone. The 'total economy-wide impact,' however, of such a policy would result in five times as many job losses by 2020, they say. The study is the latest of several weighing the economic impact of net neutrality, including those by law schools (PDF) and free-market think tanks alike. The Brattle Group report (PDF), however, should be met with skepticism, Cringely argues, in large part because the lobbying firm who paid for the report, Mobile Future, is anchored most notably by AT&T. Moreover, the report is 'based entirely on a single assumption: Regulating US telecoms in the late 1990s and early 2000s hurt them to the tune of about 15 percent per quarter, relative to the cable companies.' Yet, as he points out, regulation was not alone in causing this sector shrinkage. In fact, the Baby Bells' own bureaucratic intransigence was much to blame."
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The Truth About Net Neutrality Job Loss

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  • So how exactly would passing a law that basically codifies current practices cause job loss?

    I have yet to hear of any ISP charging Youtube extortion money. My files are still downloading at 2MB/s. Net neutrality legislation would just prevent future abuses by ISPs.

    Outlawing all forms of traffic shaping technology, sure, I can see how that might cause a hit to ISP's profits, but the majority of proposed net neutrality legislation allows for some traffic shaping, it just prevents "pay up or else we'll make sure no one can access your website" levels of manipulation.

  • by SpaceLifeForm ( 228190 ) on Monday April 26, 2010 @07:38PM (#31991670)
    That is the claim, but what they are not talking about is that it would prevent them from *expanding* their profits via a content access extortion scheme.

    Money, money, money, mo money.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 26, 2010 @09:25PM (#31993068)

    Oh, this is fun! Let's take this piece by piece:

    Yes! Let's!

    my computer

    ... based on technologies developed for government contracts ...

    ... but not even remotely practical until *commercial* uses were discovered for the technology...

    that goes through the internet

    ... that used be called ARPAnet ...

    ... that remained a niche technology until DARPA stopped preventing it from being used for commercial purposes...

    then i'll leave work

    ... at a company that relies on the courts to enforce its contracts ...

    ... even though in the English tradition of law, the courts preceded the State and in fact were coopted by them to evil purpose...

    drive in my car

    ... in a car that probably won't kill you because of DOT safety regulations, on roads built with public funds ...

    ... even though DOT "safety regulations" are heavily influenced by manufacturers (see "regulatory capture"), and even though public roads are a legendary sinkhole of waste, graft, fraud, and mismanagement...

    (note: the existence of "safety regulations" has very little indeed to do with whether or not your car will "kill you", a fallacious trope anyway if ever I've heard one)

    to my apartment

    ... that would be an unsafe rat-trap if not for housing regulations, and where you have a reasonable assurance that you'll be able to continue living because the government won't let your landlord throw you out on the street any time he feels like it ...

    ... except for all those places that *aren't* unsafe rat-traps, because people actually like to not live in rat-traps (and if you haven't got any money, is it better to live in a rat-trap, or on the street?)...

    Oh, and: ... even though the "free-market" instrument that prevents the landlord from throwing you out is called a "lease"...

    eat some nice food

    ... that's been certified by the FDA ...

    ... "regulatory capture"; see policies like "beef farmers cannot test their own cows for mad-cow disease", that sort of thing.

    ect ect.

    ... well, okay, clearly there are some failings in your education, but that's probably your fault, not the fault of the underpaid and overworked public school teachers who tried to drum some knowledge into your thick skull. The rest of it, you enjoy courtesy of your local, state, and federal government whether you are capable of understanding this or not.

    Clearly there are many failings in your education; instead of learning how things really work and how all of the above are produced by individual people working for their own benefit, you believe in a world of lemonade rivers and lollipop trees, where government makes good things come about just because it says so. I will gently suggest that this is a ludicrous belief-system on its face.

    Here's a hint: People buy what they *want*, given the resources available to them at the time. This, and nothing else, is the definition of the "free market". All of the regulations you cite have the side-effect of removing choices from those with fewer resources; your wishing that everybody could afford goods of the same quality does not make it true. Men without cars make a choice to drive unsafe automobiles all the time, because the alternative, "not having a car", doesn't work. Men who live in "rat-traps" do so because it is preferable to living in the street. Denying people things because it offends your sense of "social justice" that those things are not of the best possible quality is wickedly unfair to *everybody* concerned.

    I do give you points for being able to parrot the anticapitalist talking-points verbatim. Clearly you spent plenty of time listening in *those* lessons.

Exceptions prove the rule, and wreck the budget. -- Miller